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Random Constructor

Updated: March 2012

Initializes a new instance of the Random class, using a time-dependent default seed value.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public Random()

ExceptionCondition
OverflowException

The seed value derived from the system clock is Int32.MinValue, which causes an overflow when its absolute value is calculated.

The distribution of the generated numbers is uniform; each number is equally likely to be returned.

The default seed value is derived from the system clock and has finite resolution. As a result, different Random objects that are created in close succession by a call to the default constructor will have identical default seed values and, therefore, will produce identical sets of random numbers. This problem can be avoided by using a single Random object to generate all random numbers. You can also work around it by modifying the seed value returned by the system clock and then explicitly providing this new seed value to the Random(Int32) constructor. For more information, see the Random(Int32) constructor.

The following example uses the default constructor to instantiate three Random objects and displays a sequence of five random integers for each. Because the first two Random objects are created in close succession, they are instantiated using identical seed values based on the system clock and, therefore, they produce an identical sequence of random numbers. On the other hand, the default constructor of the third Random object is called after a two-second delay caused by calling the Thread.Sleep method. Because this produces a different seed value for the third Random object, it produces a different sequence of random numbers.

using System;
using System.Threading;

public class RandomNumbers
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      Random rand1 = new Random();
      Random rand2 = new Random();
      Thread.Sleep(2000);
      Random rand3 = new Random();
      ShowRandomNumbers(rand1);
      ShowRandomNumbers(rand2);
      ShowRandomNumbers(rand3);
   }

   private static void ShowRandomNumbers(Random rand)
   {
      Console.WriteLine();
      byte[] values = new byte[5];
      rand.NextBytes(values);
      foreach (byte value in values)
         Console.Write("{0, 5}", value);
      Console.WriteLine();   
   }
}
// The example displays the following output to the console: 
//       28   35  133  224   58 
//     
//       28   35  133  224   58 
//     
//       32  222   43  251   49

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Date

History

Reason

March 2012

Replaced the example.

Customer feedback.

August 2009

Added exception information.

Content bug fix.

July 2009

Expanded the Remarks section.

Information enhancement.

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